High-tech Customer Service
Technological advancements within contact centers are revolutionizing the way catalogers answer and manage inbound calls.
And if implemented properly, automated, inbound call programs can streamline caller-cataloger interactions and improve overall customer relations.
Added bonus: By using these technologies, catalogers are saving time and money—good news in these economically challenging times.
The Virtual CSR
Imagine a virtual customer service representative (CSR) through which callers can place, change or check their order status.
For example, officials at NetByTel (www.netbytel.com) say their NetByTel Connected system’s virtual agents recognize human colloquialisms, ask callers to repeat information the technology couldn’t initially register, and it even hums patiently while waiting for a caller’s input. In fact, the computerized agent sounds so human that some of its users forget they’re talking to a computer.
“One of our major clients, Office Depot, actually has had customers talk to the virtual agent as if it’s a human being,” says Steve Avalone, vice president of marketing at NetByTel, Boca Raton, FL. “They’ve even asked agents about the weather.”
In addition, Avalone says, if the automated agent still cannot understand callers after a few attempts, it switches customers to the top of the call center queue and states: “I’m sorry. I’m having a bad day and will get you to a live person right away.”
NetByTel officials say a benefit to “going virtual” is that customers who interact with a virtual agent sometimes can get a more pleasant, upbeat experience than if they dealt with a live agent. Why? Customers won’t hear sighs of frustration or negative intonations, which they sometimes get from live agents.
It’s this kind of customer service that can make NetByTel Connected a successful customer service tool for catalogers. And the fact that catalog companies can save up to 80 percent of the cost of a typical inbound call potentially makes this an economically viable option.